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Battle Rap News


September 4, 2014, 8:00 pm

Image by Rehab Regime






By Aak


How many times has the most anticipated battle on the card been the least interesting to the live crowd and thus, the home viewers?  Off the top of my head (like a “pre-buttle”) I can think of Hollow vs Hitman and Mook vs Solomon, but trust me, unless Drect has a top “100 Disappointing Battles” joint coming out, there are too many to name.  Fight cards save their headline matchups till last and everybody stays as hype as they can be; the same goes for live concerts and such.  So, what’s to blame for this recurring problem in battle rap?  The answer: politics ... as usual.  And if you’re like Peter Griffin, then casually writing the title of the blog inside this article just got this shit popping for you.


What’s Causing All This

For starters, apparently, punctuality isn’t one of the four fucking elements of Hip Hop. When I say “Hip-Hop,” you say “On Time.”  Hip Hop … You were late with the response, my dude.  “Real Nigga Time” knows no bounds and plagues every damn battle rap show, of which I’ve been apart, or, simply, attended.  When the Crowd has to wait in line for hours, then has to wait for the first battle for hours, and then has to wait for what adds up to hours between battles, it becomes understandable that they get impatient.  Said impatience leads them to be more ornery and less easy to please, i.e. booing set ups and heckling the slightest stumbles, which contributes to them leaving before the very Main Event they waited damn near all day to see.  Battle rap event organizers need to make the experience more enjoyable to the 100’s in attendance and the 1000’s watching around the world.  Massacre of The Bay (MOB,) I believe, tried to bring in body painting and a petting zoo and shit, but one needs to only look towards the recent Total Slaughter event to see how shortening the lull can keep a live crowd’s energy and attention.  And no, you don’t need Sway screaming “We have a battle, ladies and gentlemen!” while one MC is getting his ass kicked.  No, we don’t need DJ Hates Post-Y2K-Rap playing Aesop Rock for 45 minutes in between bathroom breaks.  All you need is punctuality.  Keep things moving briskly and shit will pay off for you in the end. People didn’t’ leave during Hollow’s battle versus Hitman because it was whack, they left because niggas were sleepy … Hollow (Joe Budden line.)  Granted, the battle wasn’t the greatest ever, but half of those whom left before it was over, left before it ever even started.  The other half stayed just long enough to ensure they could hear themselves booing on youtube without having to fast forward too far.  All that standing around is uncomfortable as hell and will lead to the battlers losing something from the crowd - ask Danny Myers.


Give Them Bullets Room To Breathe

I’m going to keep this short and to the point like n-ash (that’s nash!)  Stop putting so many fucking battles on the card.  Ever heard of the law of diminishing returns?  Basically, if I can plagiarize without a law suit, the law is a concept in economics that states, “If one factor of production (number of battles on a card, for example) is increased while other factors (average attention span and the length of time it takes for Danny Myers to get comfortable by taking off his Jordans, for example) are held constant, then the output per unit of the variable factor will eventually diminish.”  I say that to say this: too much of a good thing makes that thing bad, eventually.  If your big event has too many battles to fit the flyer, (Slaughterhouse gon be there) then you may need to scale it back a bit.  Every card doesn’t have to be every match you can possibly imagine.  Spread the love and make each card special throughout the year.  You know why Boxing Cards usually have 4 fights or less on the PPV?  Because they understand that you don’t fill them clips too high; give them bullets room breathe. (he said it, he said it.)  Damn, where was I… Yeah, the crowd would be a lot more excited for the main event if they didn’t have to go through 9 main events.  Is it “Night of Main Events” or “Night of Booing the Shit out of Battlers?”  Look at How many battles were on the undercard for Hollow vs Lux.  Look at how many were on Total Slaughter.  Despite the online experience (those in charge of Total Slaughter underestimated the amount of buys, the event would get - it was a staggering amount,) Total Slaughter and Hollow vs Lux were pretty damn successful events with which most who attended had no problem.  I believe that’s in part due to the short list of undercard battles; in conjunction with timely event proceedings (in the case of Total Slaughter.)


Mr. Fix It

We know that Less is more and timing is everything, (and it seems to be the key) but also, I think these leagues should get creative with the line-ups.  We all know that most undercard battles can steal the show and despite what the view count says, most of the undercard battlers are well known by the battle rap fan base, so why not switch it up? Put your main event on third.  Shit, put it on first.  Why not?  Why wait till the crowd is all “mmmm’d” out and already heard the reference to some current event in someone’s punch 3 times?  I’ve been battling and attending events for about 6 or 7 years and the one thing I’ve noticed is that the first battle gets crazy reaction, no matter how whack it is or who is in it.  Go back to all URL’s Summer Madness or NOME cards and I bet, more often than not, it was said (or tweeted) that the first battle on the card was “CRAZY.”  In Grind Time, they would have “try out” battles that got 25 views on youtube, but, live, the audience could have convinced you that Zeus was battling the Titans with all the reaction.  This is a direct result to them still being excited and the long-ass wait to start had them “fiending” for someone to hypothetically pull some caliber of gun and kill someone else creatively.  With that in mind, imagine if an event started at 4pm, was over by 8pm and the 5 battles on the card were, in fact, “CRAZY.”  Damn, there’s some money to be made around here.


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